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Friday, October 15, 2010

Finally Reading This ...

A lot of the information in this book is still revolutionary in its viewpoint; for example, that specialization leads to extinction in the natural world and in the human world.

Even now, we are over-specialized (Medical General Practitioners are still difficult to find) to an amazing degree. One of his predictions was that the computer (geeks cheer now) will take over the metaphysics of humankind. Now the internet makes general knowledge much more accessible and widespread, so that human beings are becoming more and more generalists, Leonardos if you will.

Identity is no longer tangled up with the kind of work one performs. National borders are becoming impossible to maintain. The disappearance of borders of all kinds is the way for humanity to survive, he says, and we are witnessing the greatest dissolving of differences among groups in human history.

Many would argue against this, fearing the re-taking of the world reins by the hidden masters who reigned in the 19th Century, but I doubt they can do it. There is an inexorable flow of energy from specialization to adaptability, from sovereignty to liquidity of human movement, from separation to unity amongst human beings.

1 comment:

Osprey said...

That book sounds interesting. Specialisation would lead to extinction, I agree, as our world changes over time and specialists have a narrower range in which to thrive. Although the internet puts information close to hand it relies upon a very specialised set of circumstances - an electrical grid, breakable hardware, wires, and so on.
If the power grid went out for some reason all the information that people are used to being able to access without storing would be gone. Knowing how to grow food or weave or hunt deer would be the useful information to have, and not many would be in possession of it. Books last longer.
We've created a situation where necessary-to-survive information is hardly known, and the range in which we can continue in this fashion has no breadth at all. As long as nothing happens we are fine.